The following excerpt is from an article by Easwaran that appeared in the Autumn 2006 issue of our quarterly Blue Mountain journal:
“Not long ago it was considered impossible for a human being to run a mile in less than four minutes. The ‘four-minute mile’ was a built-in physiological limitation, a kind of invisible wall that one could approach but never break through. And while everybody believed this, it was true. People resigned themselves to watching the record creep up by hundredths of a second, harder and harder to beat as the magic wall got closer.
“And then somebody who didn’t believe in invisible walls – a young English physician, Roger Bannister – ran faster. It was humanly possible! Belief in a four-minute barrier collapsed. It took just six weeks for another runner to break Bannister’s record, and today, mothers and students go out on weekends and run at speeds that experts once decreed beyond human reach. Today some say the real limit is a three-minute mile. But most people are unwilling to set limits at all, and records are broken regularly. Continue reading